The test of faith
And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. James 1:10-11 NLT
James intent from the text is to illustrate the point that we need to identify what can hinder our spiritual maturity. Whether we like it or not, our perspective regarding our economic and social status can affect our Christian faith, thus our spiritual growth. This is why we must examine our lives and identify the biggest barrier that keeps us from growing in our faith. And more likely than not, this will look different for each one of us. But we must be honest to admit that even if we do not consider ourselves as rich or materialistic, there is still a tendency to be self-reliant rather than trusting God. Such is the case for rich people where they see themselves not having a need to be dependent upon God for provisions. “I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” (Matthew 19:24). The key for poor Christians to overcome feelings of lowliness is to realize their honored position in Christ. For rich Christians, the key to passing the test of faith is to humble themselves before God and remember that riches and wealth in this side of eternity are fleeting and volatile. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal... Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:19, 21). Our life in this world is temporary. “The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people” (Isaiah 40:8). So, instead of the rich Christians shunning the poor, they must learn how to embrace one another for they are equals in the sight of God and in heaven there will be no rich or poor.
Noel De Guzman